The Chicago Bulls came into the AT&T Center needing a win to keep pace with the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They ended up on the wrong end of 109-101 loss. The Pistons upset the Dallas Mavericks with a 102-96 in Big D moving a half game ahead of the Bulls.
In the Spurs victory, Tim Duncan became only the sixth player in NBA history to collect 15K rebounds, which he did midway through the 1st quarter when he received a standing ovation from the loyal Silver & Black crowd.
“I don’t know what they’re supposed to mean,” Duncan said. “They are what they are. Everybody keeps asking how does it feel. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. I’ve been at it for a long time. I’m honored to be on a list with these guys and when I look back it will mean a whole lot, but right now I’m just trying to play better, trying to get healthy and trying to help the team.”
The Spurs have little time to dwell over individual accomplishments as they prepare for a hungry Oklahoma City Thunder squad taking the AT&T Center court tomorrow. The Thunder are coming off a 120-108 thrashing of the Los Angeles Clippers and face a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that has won only 20 games.
“If you’re ever going to get better, if you’re ever going to win,” Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell said, “you have to remember the times where you got your butt kicked.”
The San Antonio Spurs kept their undefeated streak at the AT&T Center alive with a 101-95 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on a night that saw the rare ejection of Head Coach Gregg Popovich. The win added the Spurs to a very short list of Western Conference teams to have opened the season with a perfect 18-0 record at home. Other teams to do it were the 1978 Trailblazers and the 1986 Houston Rockets.
The Spurs were led, in part, by Rookie Boban Marjanovic, who had to step up after LaMarcus Aldridge had a bad night offering only six points to the contest. Marjanovic was a perfect 7-7 kicking in 17 points and four rebounds in under 15 minutes of play.
“I feel happy because I am part of this win,” Marjanovic said. “In the first half we played like, so-so, and in the second half much better and we showed we are a team. We showed in bad times that we can be a good team.”
“Both stretches he impacted well,” said Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, who took over for Popovich. “Not only with his game, that was a quality game, but also because he got the crowd involved, he got his teammates involved.”
After bouncing back from a loss to the Houston Rockets with a thumping of the Denver Nuggets, the San Antonio Spurs get back to business tonight when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs, still undefeated at home, face a Timberwolves squad that has won only 12 games thus far. Defensively the Spurs have been led by The Klaw, Kawhi Leonard who is holding his opponents to 37.8% shooting against him. Tonight Leonard will be tasked to guard the T’Wolves leading scorer, Andrew Wiggins, who is averaging 20 ppg, but against Leonard only 10.8 on 29.2% shooting.
“It’s the same thing every night for me, just depends on the match-up,” Leonard explained. “Just having the mindset of playing defense every night helps me.”